February 14, 2012

Linguistic cues that a person is lying on his/her on-line dating profile.

Discerned by a UW communications prof Catalina Toma:
The more deceptive a dater's profile, the less likely they were to use the first-person pronoun "I."...

The liars often employed negation, a flip of the language that would restate "happy" as "not sad" or "exciting" as "not boring." And the fabricators tended to write shorter self-descriptions in their profiles....

"They don't want to say too much," Toma says. "Liars experience a lot of cognitive load. They have a lot to think about. The less they write, the fewer untrue things they may have to remember and support later."
Cognitive load. What an expression! It suggests a new answer for the old question: "Are you shitting me?"

24 comments:

Patrick said...

I'm so much cooler online.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE6iAjEv9dQ

Matthew said...

I remember being taught this in some psych class in high school. The idea is that by speaking in a negative, it is less constraining. For example, I am happy means a definitive thing. If I am just not sad, I could be neutral, or happy. It is a wider range of possibilities that is harder say: "ah hah, gotcha."

Same reason to have fewer facts. "The pop corn was stale when I saw the movie with Bob and Jim at last night." has more facts that can be picked apart, and opens you to more avenues to have a thread pulled and the whole thing fall apart.

"I went to a movie last night" is much harder to disprove.

Rick67 said...

And how often does our current President use the first singular pronoun?

Matthew said...

Also, link is going to blogger.com/edu instead of where it is meant to go.

Peter said...

Membership rolls at online dating sites are the biggest sausage party this side of the Krakow Kielbasa Festival. Commercials for one site (match.com?) boast that 10,000 new people join each day. What they don't say is that 9,900 of them are male.

ricpic said...

Frankly, "not boring" sounds a lot more honest than "exciting" on a dating profile, to me at least

prairie wind said...

"Are you shitting me" makes me laugh every time. I don't know if I have ever said it myself but it brings back memories of old conversations with my brothers. I haven't heard anyone use it aloud in years, though I've heard it several times lately online.

Rusty said...

Matt hew. Bill Clinton's statements about Monica Lewinski is a classic example of that kind of obfiscation.

pm317 said...

Cognitive load. What an expression! It suggests a new answer for the old question: "Are you shitting me?"

Heh, hopefully many will think of this while considering voting for their boyfriend Obama next time.

Peter Hoh said...

What about using "severely" as a modifier?

You should see my severely ripped abs.

edutcher said...

OK, if "The more deceptive a dater's profile, the less likely they were to use the first-person pronoun 'I.'", then all it boils down to is:

dump the guy when he says, "Enough about me, let's talk about you".

John said...

Peter (not Hoh):

For me, that's a feature, not a bug.

SGT Ted said...

It's called a 'cognitive load' because they are bullshitting you.

SGT Ted said...

I would never shit you. You're my favorite turd.

:)

Joe said...

Once again, the extroverted view of vomiting your life on everyone is held up as honorable.

(And isn't there a difference between being reserved or circumspect and lying? Why assume because someone doesn't tell you everything, they're lying?)

damikesc said...

I'm so much cooler online.

Love me some Brad Paisley.

LordSomber said...

Rather than being liars, some of us are just modest.

DADvocate said...

Rather than being liars, some of us are just modest.

Quite true. If I put an honest description of myself, it would be beyond belief. (I'll leave it up to you whether it would be good or bad.)

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm not doing any online dating, but if I were, I wouldn't use "I" a lot, and my self description would be very short. And I wouldn't bother lying.

Lem said...

When we lie it just means we care..

We are just saying.

Lem said...

Life lottery winners don't need to lie.

Lem said...

..or is it the one percenters.

virgil xenophon said...

"Are you shitting me?"

"They asked me how I knew, Racoon-shit was blue,

Horse-shit, I said, bull-shit you've been fed,

Racoon-shit is red."



(recited to the tune of Smoke gets in your Eyes--old 50s HS "witticism.")

DEEBEE said...

Ann -- supremo.
Will keep me coming back.
Like playing one hole as Tiger would keep the load of the remaining 17 off my mind.